Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Memories of Ireland

You know, I woke up this morning and the very first thing that popped into my head was that it was St. Patrick's Day and that I never really shared many photos from my visit to Ireland. So, here are a whole bunch of my favourite Irish memories for you.

Be warned there are many, many, many pics ahead.

Cheeky deer in my aunties garden.

Beautiful gravestones are a-plenty in Ireland. How beautiful is this?

This pretty bunch of flowers was sitting high in a quirky church window. I'm not a church-goer, but quirky churches are quite nice places to be if you ask me.

Like sleeping elephants.

My auntie and I seem to have a few bits in common.

Few things are nicer and more terrifying than crisp white Irish linens. You can bet that I removed every bit of make-up before bed, no matter how many gins were in my belly! Also, check out that wallpaper! *swoon*

The little faeire pond at my aunties house.

I discovered a new favourite thing while in Ireland. The magic of the sun streaming through the clouds and lighting up mountain sides and peaks.

Painted by my talented uncle in the wee town of Kilgarvan.

I'd secretly like someone to carve a moss heart for me. 

(Altough it's probably not at all nice and you probably shouldn't do that at all)

Yep. There are definitely faeries here.

Did I mention the heart thing?

See that glorious bowl of cream and fruit and flowers in the back? I bought that. It went in my belly. No regrets.

Scones and jam and butter and cream forever and ever!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day my lovely friends xoxo

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Simple Things House for AlphaStamps

While I am a HUGE fan of farting around on a project for ages and ages, and taking a zillion times longer than I should, and fiddling with a 100 different pieces and adding 14 dozen different types of embellishments... sometimes the opposite is nice.

Sometimes, I like playing with a couple of sheets of paper that already match. Let's face it, some days just aren't made for thinking too much. Some days designing and making arty farty choices is hard!

That's kind of how this wee house came around. I just sort of day dreamed as I went along.

Now, I know what you're saying, "Ummm, Nichola... you altered that Mini House Front Box for the base. That isn't exactly taking the daydreamy easy route." 

Cross my lazy heart it didn't take much to change the house box. I simply omitted the back piece, trimmed the tabs on the sides, and added a folded bit of card to make the roof.

"Ok, fine. But look at all those fiddly bits inside!"

Nah! There are only 9 fussy cut elements inside that house (and four of those are butterflies which really hardly count at all!) The elements are cut from Spring Farmhouse Simple Things Scrapbook Paper, and Spring Farmhouse 8x8 Paper Pad. The pretty vintage girl is from the Flower Girls Collage Sheet

As for the outside, I really didn't do anything. I just covered the front and sides with a sheet from the
Spring Farmhouse Pad. And used a wood look paper to for the roof. A butterfly and snipped sentiment and that's it!

(Okay, I did stamp emboss the roof a bit but it would have been just as pretty without that extra touch)

All of this blabbling to basically say that this was a lovely project to work on. The papery elements just clicked together to sort of make something really, really pretty with very little effort. If you feel like being a bit of a lazy crafter too, HERE are all the things I used to make this "Simple Things" house.

And all of the individual bits:
*Spring Farmhouse Kit - March 2019
Mini House Front Box
Spring Farmhouse 8x8 Paper Pad
Spring Farmhouse Simple Things Scrapbook Paper
Small Felt Flowers - Pink*
Flower Girls Collage Sheet
Whitewashed Wood Background Scrapbook Paper
Wider Planks Light Wood Scrapbook Paper

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

#Craftroom tour for Graphic 45

When people come to visit my studio, I show off the space that holds my finished pieces and where I do all of my computer work. I dare not show off my workspace… aka the #craftroom.

My #craftroom isn't pretty. It’s usually an absolute disaster! (I did a serious clean before these photos BTW) But it’s my disaster and within that chaos, there is some form of organization going on.

While I oogle over the pristine, perfectly organized, beautiful studio spaces I see on Pinterest, I know they wouldn't work for me. I'm not maligning those gorgeous spaces, they absolutely work for a lot of people. However, my messy creative cocoon is exactly what I need.

So, when I was asked to share my #craftroom, I started to think about my space and why it works for me. Perhaps some of these creative chaos tips will work for someone else too.

Hidden behind this amazing quilt I have a whole bunch of bins. I like using bins because I can grab them when I need something, and toss stuff in them when I’m done. Easy peasy!

I organize the bins in a way that makes sense to me, storing items I often use at the same time together.

These stamp pads are stored with embossing powders, next to rubber stamps. I often use those items together, so it make sense to keep them together.

My main work surface is a kitchen table. It’s big and I’m fortunate to have enough space for it. On top, I keep things I use most often. All of the tools, brushes, tape, glue, and paint I use regularly are within arms reach. I have a bazillion paint colours, but only a dozen or so are by my side. Same goes for glue. I might have a glue for every purpose, but only those three I use all the time are ready to go the moment inspiration strikes.

This goes for paper too. I have a vintage record holder that I use to store papers that I’m using or will be using soon.

One thing that really keeps me organized is storing papers in the celophane bags they arrive in. I unseal the bag from the bottom rather than ripping them open from the top. When I've finished a project, I can tuck any scraps and extra fussy cut bits inside, and reseal the bag.

My main paper storage is this vintage metal flatfile intended to keep blueprints and things like that.

It’s big enough for two rows of 3 12” pads. It’s large enough to store about 150 12” pads in all.

While I keep most of my papers sorted by collection if I only have a few papers I will organize by theme instead. For example, all Christmas or Halloween papers are kept together.

A little bonus tip: when I have a project in mind but don’t have time to get to it right away, I will gather and store the supplies I need for it in a cardboard box (or large ziplock bag) with a note/sketch. I’ve found this really, really useful when I have a sudden urge to make. Coming across an old brilliant idea with the supplies ready to go? YES PLEASE!

Besides organization, I think there are two other factors that are really important in a creative space.

Is it comfortable? Having a comfy couch is nice, but it’s more than that. Does your bum or back hurt at the end of the day? Do you have enough light so that you aren’t straining your eyes? Does it smell nice? These are things that can make a big difference in how productive you are.

Finally… are you inspired? While others might be inspired by the serenity of a white space, I love being surrounded by things made by others, things that are quirky and cool, doodads made with passion and talent.

I love being surrounded by things that make me think, feel and laugh in my crafting cocoon.

So, no, my #craftroom isn't pretty. It definitely wouldn’t work for everyone. But, I'm 100% ok with that.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Love Notes Micro Albums with tutorial

There are areas of crafting that I am not particularly adept at. Scrapbook layouts are one, albums are another (knitting is another weakness but lets not go down that road). While I’m not very good at creating albums, I do enjoy making books, and miniatures.

And so, I’ve made some micro albums with Love Notes. The littlest books that you ever did see!

They’re quite tiny, at just a smidge over 1” wide. Some may think they’re far too small, but that’s ok, I think large albums are rather daunting! These are just big enough to tuck tiny notes, a lucky penny, a little feather or four leaf clover.

Perhaps you might include some teeny tiny portraits of imaginary relatives.

Or photos from you were little.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could make a sweet little art journal.

Or add a string to tie your memories up tight and safe.

Like most good things, these require some fiddling.

But the results are adorable, and sweet as can be.

If you’d like to make your own batch of teeny tiny micro albums, I have a video tutorial HERE.

Here are all the bits you’ll need:

Graphic 45 Supplies:
Love Notes 12x12 Collection Pack
Floral Symphony
Love Notes Stickers
Love Notes 8x8 Paper Pad

Other Supplies:

Measurement notes:
Inside pages: 1.25” x 12”, scored at every inch

Card for cover: 2 pieces just a smidge larger than the finished folded page size inside (add about 1/16” to the length and width). 1 spine piece approximately ⅛” wide

Paper for cover: approximately 3.25” x 2”

And that’s everything you’ll need to make a big library of tiny books!

Good luck! 

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Kate Bush / Radiohead ATC SMACKDOWN!!!!

Ok, it's not really a Kate Bush/Radiohead smackdown because they are both lovely and I'm sure they wouldn't bodyslam one another, but I digress...

I watched the new "Suspiria" movie the other day. It's a remake, or rather a re-imagined version, of a 1970's Italian film of the same name. Its a horror/thriller with quite a bit of gore so it won't be everyones cup of tea. The thing is, it stuck with me for days... the visuals, the music the themes... they're all knocking about in my head.

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

The soundtrack was stuck in my head, and I saw that it was done by Thom Yorke, songwriter/lead singer for Radiohead. A magic sort of music combined with all that dancing and I immediately thought of  Kate Bush. All that to explain why Radiohead and Kate Bush lyrics are all over this new set of ATC's.

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

So, do you know your Yorke from your Bush? I'll post the answers at the end of this post. If you'd like to own one of these, pop over to my etsy shop, all my cards are listed HERE.

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

Radiohead/Kate Bush lyric mixed media ATC's - Nichola Battilana

How do you think you did? Here's the answers:

"I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking"This Woman's Work - Kate Bush

"Kill me again with love"
Lucky - Radiohead

"Standing in the shadows at the end of my bed"
Kid A - Radiohead

"You crush the lily in my soul"
Moving - Kate Bush

"And true love waits in haunted attics"
True Love Waits - Radiohead

"I was dropped from the moonbeam and sailed on shooting stars"
Sail to the Moon - Radiohead

"All the dreamers are waking"
Nocturn - Kate Bush

"Wax me, mould me, heat the pins and stab them in"
Bulletproof... I Wish I Was - Radiohead

"We let the weirdness in"
Leave it Open - Kate Bush

"No more under the quilt to keep you warm"
The Kick Inside - Kate Bush

"If I could be who you wanted all the time"
Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

"I'm having dreams about things not going right"
There Goes a Tenner - Kate Bush

And here is the gorgeous song "Suspirium" that has been in my head for days and started all this smackdown business.